Tag Archives: Surviving a bad day

Remember … You Survived Lightning

27 Apr

Just when I think things are going well, a setback occurs.

Frustration and anger consume me. But then I remembered a story I read about some tree. I know … a tree, right? But Dale Carnegie wrote it in one of his books or essays and it stuck with me. I often think about it when things don’t turn out the way I planned, which happens often if you want to know the truth.

Oak tree on the top of Ladakalnis

Oak tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story was about some powerful oak tree, and how year after year of crazy storm weather it remained standing. Through snow storms and practically tornado-like weather, it remained steady… and unmoved. It probably didn’t live in California, it was more like a Midwest tree, I guess. They tend to have tornado-like situations.

In any case, it was tested again when it was struck by lightning. Lightning … not only was it struck by this suck-ass powerful atmospheric electrical discharge, but it probably got the crap scared out of it with the thunder that followed.  It may have lost some leaves and a couple of branches. It was left scarred, making it susceptible to environmental stress. Yeah environments can get stressed out too. But it remained strong and continued to thrive.

But one summer, something smaller than a fingernail got the best of the mighty oak. Termites. Pinche termites. One by one they infested the tree, gnawing at it, picking at it, crawling little by little deep into the trunk. Bit by bit the termite soldiers devoured the tree.

I thought, what the hell kind of crazy tree story is that?

But then Carnegie went off to say that many of us are like the tree, we survive the big blows in life, but it’s the little things that eventually get to us and destroy us. The little things that accumulate and add up and eventually consume us.

So after my little disaster, I thought about the oak tree and its story …  I didn’t want to be the dumbass that survived the lightning strike and then got eaten by termites. Remember you survived lightning! Metaphorically speaking, of course. So I fumigated myself and left the little setback in the past. No need for any more environmental stress.


I Still Could Have Used A Little Chocolate …

22 Apr

After having a tough day and not having any chocolate in the house, I came across some email about the Must Read Books on the Art & Science to Happiness.

Science of Happiness? What the hell is that?

When you’ve had a suck-ass day what you want is the science of a good cacao bean going to work, or the awesome sound of a cork popping off a Lambic Framboise bottle. This is the art of my temporary happiness. But I’ll take what I can get right now.

So I read on …



The email featured people like the Dalai Lama, who is probably genuinely happy. I mean he looks peaceful enough. I mean he met Brad Pitt, why wouldn’t that make you happy right? I can support this dude’s words. He supports “inner peace among chaos”. That seemed to be right up my alley today. I might have to read up on his The Art of Happiness.

Then you got the dude that has the Stumbling on Happiness book. What is that? I hate it when people fall ass-backwards into something fantastic and here you are swimming up-stream like a fish with no fins. The title alone is not gonna do it for me.

Then it was The Happiness Hypothesis. I like that fact that the author uses hypothesis and happiness as his title. He’s testing out a theory. I like it. I might check out his “Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom” through old school philosophers like Plato and Buddha.

Then I ran into a book that was right up my Chapstick-type of girl mentality.


Something called the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, a sort of enlightening and pragmatic guide to happiness for someone like me — a stressed out mom and writer who feels like George Costanza at times. I have yet to read it. I bought it and it’s sitting on my stand, but by the time I get to bed I’m exhausted. But I will read it. Chapter 1 tonight, or at least part of it. I was happy to at least own one of the books on the list.

Eat, Pray, Love. Awesome I loved reading it. It wasn’t on the list but I remembered it. Elizabeth Gilbert‘s life was in shambles at the time — inner turmoil– and she came through it all right in her travels through Italy, India, and Indonesia. If your life has ever been a wreck this book is for you. I need to take it out of my book pile. If your life is peachy keen, well I don’t know.

All these books, but I needed a quick fix tonight. I couldn’t read all of them, or even one tonight. I’m a slow reader. I thought it would end up a crappy night until I re-read one of the quotes on my computer:

“The elevator to success is broken … you’re going to have to take the stairs.”

I realized that this not only applies to my career, but to my life in general as a mother, as a daughter, as a person. I don’t know who said it, but they are badass.

However, I still could have used a little chocolate.